Boston Children’s Hospital is a leading destination for the treatment of congenital and acquired kidney disease in children. Our pediatric nephrology department is the largest in the United States, treating nearly 5,000 patients from across the world and performing approximately 6,500 chronic dialysis treatments and 20 to 25 kidney transplants each year.

Our department – named the best pediatric nephrology program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for six years in a row – features four specialty renal programs and services, more than a dozen ongoing clinical research projects, and a seven-bed pediatric dialysis unit. Our team of physicians, surgeons, and nurses is internationally recognized for its expertise in the care of very young children with kidney failure and of patients with complex urinary tract abnormalities who require dialysis and kidney transplants.

We understand better than anyone that kidney disease can be frightening for children and families alike. Our compassionate team is here to support you and your child every step of the way, from the moment of diagnosis through long-term follow-up. We do everything we can to make your family’s experience as smooth and worry-free as possible.

Conditions We Treat

The department of nephrology treats the full spectrum of kidney diseases and disorders in infants, children, and adolescents, including:

  • Chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, and kidney failure
  • Addison’s disease
  • Vasculitis
  • Kidney swelling (hydronephrosis)
  • Multicystic dysplastic kidney and polycystic kidney disease
  • Kidney cancer (Wilms’ tumor)
  • Midaortic syndrome

Our Approach

We provide innovative, family-centered care delivered by a collaborative team of experts. We draw on the expertise of physicians and researchers from all across the hospital, not just our department. And we work closely with physicians in your home country to ensure that your child receives comprehensive and coordinated care through adulthood.

We know the family is the most important source of emotional support for children, and that’s why we view family members as a vital component of each child’s healthcare team. Families are always welcome on the patient care unit and are encouraged to comfort and soothe their children. And when they’re away from the units, family members may call at any time to speak with the child’s nurse.

Research and Innovation

Our department is dedicated to developing innovative and lasting treatments for the most serious kidney diseases affecting children. We’re actively involved in both laboratory and clinical research, in areas such as transplantation biology, kidney development, and nephrotic syndrome. Some of our notable innovations and initiatives include:

  • Safer kidney transplants. Our researchers are investigating new techniques for suppressing the immune systems of kidney transplant recipients. In order to transfer such discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside, the department has developed the largest and most active group of kidney transplant clinical trials in the United States.
  • Midaortic syndrome program. We’re one of the only centers in the world with a specialized program dedicated to diagnosing, treating, and providing long-term support for children with mid-aortic syndrome, a narrowing of the main artery running through the chest and abdomen. Our experts have designed a groundbreaking procedure (known as TESLA) that uses a tissue-expanding device to slowly stretch the aorta.
  • Gene research. One of our doctors headed the world’s largest effort to discover the gene mutations responsible for chronic kidney disease. We amassed the largest databank of DNA samples of children living with the disease, which eventually lead to our discovery of over 20 genes whose mutations cause the disease.

Patient Story: Helping Hands Across Borders

When a small boy from the West Bank is diagnosed with a congenital condition that compromises the kidneys and urological system, a team of Israeli doctors and U.S. benefactors join together to secure him a kidney transplant. Read more >>